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Chatbot automation is a growing trend that shows no signs of slowing down. It’s estimated that, by 2021, most customer interactions will be handled without a human agent, i.e., through a chatbot. This means that the question is no longer if businesses will incorporate chatbots into their websites, but when.

While chatbot automation and integration is easier than ever these days, especially with the rise of platforms such as Snatchbot.me which allow users to easily create the best AI chatbots without any prior experience in the field, there’s still the question of security that needs to be addressed.

Like any other piece of new technology, chatbots create new opportunities, but new potential risks as well. So, businesses need to do all in their power to ensure that their chatbots don’t become a security threat.

Chatbot Security Risks

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Even with the best AI chatbot, users can still fall victim to cyber-attacks if they don’t integrate their chatbots properly and follow the necessary security measures.

However, before implementing security measures, it’s essential to know which risks users are exposed to with chatbots. There are two significant chatbot security risks:

  1. Threats
  2. Vulnerabilities
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Security threats are generally defined as one-off events or attacks. The most common security threats include spoofing, tampering, repudiation, information disclosure, denial of service, and elevation of privilege.

Vulnerabilities, on the other hand, are weaknesses within the system which allow attackers access to the said system. A chatbot can become vulnerable to attacks if it’s not maintained correctly, if the coding is bad, because of user error, etc.

The average cost of a cyberattack for an enterprise was $1.1 million last year, so it’s obvious why proper measures must be taken to ensure that chatbots don’t pose security threats.

Use End-to-End Encryption

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is an absolute must for companies that use AI chatbots. Since the end-users will often share sensitive information with chatbots, entire conversations must be appropriately encrypted.

With end-to-end encryption, all data is well-secured, even while in transit. This allows the messages to be seen by the sender and the recipient only, regardless of whether that’s text or voice messages.

Chatbots with the best AI will always have end-to-end encryption and ensure that no outsider can take a glance into the exchanged messages.

Using E2EE is not only desired but a must for any company that hopes to adhere to the GDPR requirements.

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Ensure Secure Protocols

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Businesses, especially those that want to ensure the best use of AI with chatbots, need to give their chatbots access to a variety of different channels. This is a must but poses some risks as well. The data has to be transferred from one point to another. And, while the data is in transit, it’s open to being intercepted.

If you want to ensure that this doesn’t happen, chatbots must use secure protocols that don’t allow unauthorized individuals to alter or delete the data. The HTTPS is the default protocol used by most security systems, and chatbots need to rely on this protocol as well.

Require Authentication & Authorization

For the most effective security strategy, chatbots need to require both authentication and authorization from users.

User authentication identifies and verifies the user, while user authorization grants permission to the user to carry out specific tasks.

Some of the standard security measures of this type include:

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Used IDs
  • Authentication timeouts
  • Biometric authentication

Create Self-Destruct Messages

Self-destruct messages can be exceptionally important to financial institutions, healthcare organizations, banks, etc. Since the end-users are required to share personally identifiable information, it’s of utmost importance to protect this data and prevent intruders from having access to it. This is achievable through self-destruct messages that get erased after a specific period.

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Educate Your Employees

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An estimated 90% of corporate data breaches occur due to human error. Whether that’s the IT department that’s poorly incorporated a chatbot into the system, or an employee who’s accidentally created an opening for an easy breach doesn’t matter, the fact remains the same.

If you want to minimize the risk of human error, it’s crucial to invest in proper employee education. The best AI chatbot can have all the security measures in place to make it invulnerable, but a single human error can wreak havoc. So, ensuring that all employees are aware of how to securely use the chatbots is an absolute must.

The Bottom Line

Chatbot automation can work wonders for any business. It can streamline many processes, offer superior customer management, and allow the employees to focus on more critical tasks.

To ensure that chatbots bring only benefits and pose no security risks, companies must use end-to-end encryption, ensure secure protocols, require both authentication and authorization from the users, create self-destruct messages, and educate their employees.

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